Celestial globe

Celestial globe. Astronomical details on the sphere are rather unusual, as all the constellations have been renamed. The classical constellations are still marked on the globe, but new Heraldic constellations, designed by Weigel (1626-1699) are illustrated, in relief, over the top. Erhard Weigel was the Professor of Mathematics at the University of Jena from 1652 until his death in 1699, and in that time he made numerous attempts to make science more accessible to a wider public. This globe represents one of his more successful attempts. Apart from precession, the main purpose of this version of Weigel's globe is to show the relationship between the classical constellation figures and the new heraldic ones, which he had designed.

The classical name is given in capitals, and in brackets, the shape of Weigel's constellation and its associated country in heraldic terms, for example, 'URSA MINOR' (stirrup shape, Latvia). The classical constellation figures and the new heraldic ones designed by Weigel are presented, in relief, on the sphere. The classical ones are flush with the surface and lie underneath the heraldric ones. For full details about the cartography and construction of this globe please refer to the related publication.

Object Details

ID: GLB0086
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments; Charts and maps
Type: Celestial globe
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Weigel, Erhard
Date made: 1699
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 585 x 495 mm; Diameter of sphere: 355 mm

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